Joseph Chee Chang

Technical HCI Research・Semantic Scholar・Allen Institute for AI

I am a research scientist at AI2. Previously, I obtained a PhD degree from the Language Technologies Institute at CMU specializing in Human-Computer Interaction, Sensemaking, Crowdsourcing, and Applied Machine Learning. I was advised by Aniket Kittur, and my research was supported by Google, Bosch, Yahoo, the ONR, and the NSF.

My research focus on developing information systems to support users and crowdworkers to explore and make sense of large amounts of information and make better decisions. For example, using crowds to synthesize search results into coherent articles or empowering consumers to navigate and explore thousands of reviews and online sources and gain deep insights and make confident decisions.


Augmenting Citations in Scientific Papers with Persistent and Personalized Historical Context


CiteSee provides a personalized paper reading experience by visually augmenting inline citations based on their connections to the current user based on their reading history, paper library, and publication records. During literature review sessions, CiteSee allows users to prioritize their exploration to focus first on inline citations most relevant to their recent readings. It also highlights inline citations to familiar papers, allowing users to keep track of their exploration and better contexturalize the current paper. Lab and field studies showed CiteSee can improve better paper discovery via inline citations, and allowed participants to have better situational awareness when conducting real-world literature reviews.

Joseph Chee Chang, Amy X. Zhang, Jonathan Bragg, Andrew Head, Kyle Lo, Doug Downey, and Daniel S. Weld.
ACM CHI 2023 (r=%, N=3182)

- CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Reading, Search, Sensemaking


Scaffolding Literature Reviews with Existing Related Work Sections

Scientific breakthroughs often rely upon scholars synthesizing many published work into broad overviews and rich insights to identify gaps in the current literature. However, survey articles require significant time and effort to synthesize and can quickly become outdated. Researchers in fast-paced disciplines also rely on the related work section to better understand the background when reading a paper. While related work sections also summarizes multiple prior work, they typically provide partial views of the larger research domain. Relatedly explore how a system in which users can quickly explore and read related work sections extracted across many papers can help scholars gain richer and more comprehensive overviews of fast-paced domains.

Srishti Palani, Aakanksha Naik, Doug Downey, Amy X. Zhang, Jonathan Bragg, Joseph Chee Chang
ACM CHI 2023 (r=%, N=3182)

- CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Reading, Search, Sensemaking


Literature Discovery with Personal Elected Author Committees

Significant research has been devoted to creating systems that help scholars discover relevant papers. While recent approaches have also shown benefits in highlighting relevant authors to improve paper discovery, these systems do not capture and utilize users’ evolving knowledge of authors. We introduce ComLittee, a literature discovery system that supports author-centric exploration. ComLittee supports author discovery to curation of a comittee of authors relevant to a research topic of interests based on existing paper recommendation systems. In our evaluation, we demonstrate how ComLittee leads to a higher efficiency, quality, and novelty in author discovery that also improves paper discovery.

Hyeonsu B. Kang, Nouran Soliman, Matt Latzke, Joseph Chee Chang, and Jonathan Bragg.
ACM CHI 2023 (r=%, N=3182)

- CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Reading, Search, Sensemaking


An Interactive System for Personalized Thread-based Exploration and Organization of Scientific Literature

Reviewing the literature to understand relevant past work is a critical part of research. However, as the scientific literature grows the challenges for users to find and make sense of the many different threads of research grow as well. In this work we explore a tool integrated into users’ reading process that helps them with leveraging authors’ existing summarization of prior research threads such as in related work sections. We developed Threddy that supports efficient extraction and organization of threads along with supporting evidence as scientists read research articles. The system then recommends further relevant articles based on user-created threads. Our lab study showed that Threddy helps scientists to follow and curate research threads without breaking out of their flow of reading, collect relevant papers and clips, and discover interesting new articles to further grow threads.

Hyeonsu B Kang, Joseph Chee Chang, Yongsung Kim, Aniket Kittur
ACM UIST 2022 (r=25.9%, N=367)

- HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking, UIST


In-Situ Sensemaking Support in the Browser

While people can fluidly collect, make sense of and organize information across many online sources in their minds to make informed decisions, the amount of online information can be overwhelming and exceed people’s working memory. We introduce Fuse, a browser extension that combined low-cost collection with lightweight organization of web content in a compact card-based sidebar. Fuse helps users simultaneously extract key web content and structure it in a lightweight and visual way. A 22-month public deployment and interviews provide longitudinal insights into the collecting, externalization and structuring behaviors of real-world users conducting information foraging tasks.

Andrew Kuznetsov, Joseph Chee Chang, Nathan Hahn, Napol Rachatasumrit, Bradley Breneisen, Julina Coupland, Aniket Kittur.
ACM UIST 2022 (r=25.9%, N=367)

- HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking, UIST


Low-cost Information Collection and Triage

Users conducting online sensemaking tasks face the challenge of capturing the information they find for later use without interrupting their flow. Specifically, as people collect information, they also need to triaging support such as how urgent a topic is to follow up on, or rating a piece of evidence as a “pro” or “con,” which helps scaffold subsequent deeper exploration. However, current approaches incur a high cost, often requiring users to select, copy, context switch, paste, and annotate information. In this work, we explore a new interaction technique called “wiggling,” which can be used to fluidly collect, organize, and rate information during early sensemaking stages with a single gesture. Through implementation and user evaluation, we found that wiggling helped participants accurately collect information and encode their mental context with a 58% reduction in operational cost while being 24% faster compared to a common baseline.

Michael Xieyang Liu, Andrew Kuznetsov, Yongsung Kim, Joseph Chee Chang, Aniket Kittur, Brad A Myers.
ACM UIST 2022 (r=25.9%, N=367)

- HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking, UIST


Task-Centric Browser Tab Management

The nature of people’s online activities has gone through dramatic changes in past decades, yet browser interfaces have stayed largely the same since tabs were introduced nearly 20 years ago. The divide between browser interfaces that only provide affordances for managing individual tabs and users who manage their attention at the task level can lead to an “tab overload” problem. We explored a task-centric tab manager called which enables users to save their open tabs to manage them with task structures and affordances that better reflect their mental models. To lower the cost of importing, Tabs.do uses a neural network in the browser to make suggestions for grouping users’ open tabs by tasks.

Joseph Chee Chang, Yongsung Kim, Victor Miller, Michael Xieyang Liu, Brad Myers, Aniket Kittur.
ACM UIST 2021 (r=25.9%, N=367)

- CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking

When the Tab Comes Due

Challenges in the Cost Structure of Browser Tab Usage


Tabs have become integral to Web browsing yet have changed little since their introduction nearly 20 years ago. In contrast, the internet has gone through dramatic changes and increasingly used to support complex sensemaking tasks. This paper investigates how tabs today are overloaded with a diverse set of functionalities and issues users face when managing them. We uncovered competing pressures pushing for keeping tabs open (ranging from interaction to emotional costs) versus pushing for closing them (such as limited attention and resources). We further developed rich design implications for future browser interfaces.

Joseph Chee Chang, Nathan Hahn, Yongsung Kim, Julina Coupland, Bradley Breneisen, Hannah S Kim, John Hwong, Aniket Kittur.
ACM CHI 2021 (r=26%, N=2845)

- Best Papers, CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking


Scaffolding Comparison Tables for Online Decision Making

Consumers can choose from many different products and base their decisions on the tens of thousands of online evidence about each of their options. However, to synthesize this information into confident decisions can incur high interaction and cognitive costs. Online information is scattered across different sources, and evidence such as reviews can be subjective and conflicting, requiring users to interpret them under their personal context. We introduce Mesh, which scaffolds users in iteratively building up a better understanding of both their choices by evaluating evidence gathered across sources. Lab and field deployment studies found that Mesh significantly reduces the costs of gathering and evaluating evidence and scaffolds decision-making through personalized criteria enabling users to gain deeper insights from data to make confident purchase decisions.

Joseph Chee Chang, Nathan Hahn, Aniket Kittur.
ACM UIST 2020 (r=21.6% N=450)

- HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking, UIST


Composing and Capturing Complex User Interests for Exploratory Search

Whether figuring out where to eat in an unfamiliar city or deciding which apartment to live in, reviews and forum posts are often a significant factor in online decision making. However, making sense of these rich repositories of diverse opinions can be prohibitively effortful, searchers need to sift through a large number of reviews to characterize each item based on aspects that they care about. We introduce a novel system, SearchLens, where searchers build up a collection of composable and reusable “Lenses” that reflect their different latent interests. Also, the Lenses allowed the system to generate personalized interfaces with visual explanations that promote transparency and enable in-depth exploration.

Joseph Chee Chang, Nathan Hahn, Adam Perer, Aniket Kittur.
ACM IUI 2019 (r=25% N=282)

- HCI, IUI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, Search, Sensemaking

Bento Browser

Complex Mobile Search Without Tabs

Complex searches can be overwhelming, leading to lots of opened tabs. This tab overload can make conducting searches on mobile devices especially difficult where screen real-estate is limited, and progress can often be interrupted. Rather than using tabs to manage information, we introduce browsing through scaffolding. Search result lists serve as mutable workspaces where progress can be suspended and resumed. BentoBrowser is available for download from the iPhone AppStore.

Nathan Hahn, Joseph Chee Chang, Aniket Kittur.
ACM SIGCHI 2018 (r=26% N=2595)

- CHI, HCI, Information Retrieval, Interaction, SIGCHI, Search, Sensemaking

Intentionally Uncertain Input

Supporting Mobile Sensemaking Through Intentionally Uncertain Highlighting

Highlighting can be mentally taxing for learners who are often unsure about how much information they needed to include. We introduce the idea of intentionally uncertain input in the context of highlighting on mobile devices. We present a system that uses force touch and fuzzy bounding boxes to support saving information while users are uncertain about where to highlight.

Joseph Chee Chang, Nathan Hahn, Aniket Kittur.
ACM UIST 2016 (r=21% N=384)

- HCI, Information Foraging, Interaction, Sensemaking, UIST